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Nicole Kidman criticised over ad for Etihad Airways; airlines denies flight attendants' claims

Los Angeles: After Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) urged Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman to cut her ties with Etihad Airways citing its anti-feminist policies, the airlines issued a statement that it supports its employees through thick and thin.

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman. Pic/Santa Banta 

Kidman, who has served as the UN Goodwill Ambassador for women since 2006, recently began appearing in an ad campaign for the airlines, which is owned by the United Arab Emirates, reports hollywoodreporter.com.

In a statement, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) has criticised Kidman for her association with the company, citing reports that Etihad has fired women for becoming pregnant and forces flight attendants to live in confined compounds.

"We urge you, on behalf of the women and girls that you spoke of so eloquently (on International Women's Day), not to play a part in promoting Etihad Airways, a company that imposes abusive labour practices on its female employees and whose sole owner is a government that stands against the very world that you imagine," the statement read.

The message also referred to a news article, which alleges that UAE husbands are allowed to beat their wives and that there is no punishment for marital rape.

"The APFA -- a union that represents 25,000 flight attendants, including nearly 19,000 female crewmembers -- has long been a leading voice on the issue of discriminatory labuor practices in our industry. We would gladly welcome your voice to our effort," the statement read further.

Kidman's representative did not respond to a request for comment.

However, the airlines has emphasised that it sticks to rules and regulation of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), which has the pregnancy clause too. 

“Etihad fully supports its cabin crew during and after their pregnancy. When a cabin crew member informs Etihad of a pregnancy, she is provided with appropriate ground duties for the duration of pregnancy," the airline said.

“Cabin crew are also entitled to paid maternity leave if they have completed more than one year’s service. Our cabin crew are then able to return to their flying role at the end of their maternity leave period.'

"The health and safety of our cabin crew remains paramount. Therefore, we follow the GCAA requirement that crew do not continue to fly while pregnant,” read a statement. 

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